Nikita Lavretski

Film Director / Film Critic

Voted for

Greenberg2010Noah Baumbach
Nights and Weekends2008Joe Swanberg, Greta Gerwig
Wendy and Lucy2008Kelly Reichardt
Mumblecore2011Megan Boyle & Tao Lin
HANA TO ARISU2004Shunji Iwai
EDVARD MUNCH1976Peter Watkins
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk2016Ang Lee
Husbands A Comedy about Life Death and Freedom1970John Cassavetes
Heremias2006Lav Diaz
Nikita Lavretski2019Nikita Lavretski




This guy is literally me at age 40--at least that's what I thought when I was 16 and saw the movie for the first time. It blew my mind how a character can be so radically, unfashionably realistic. I'm haunted by this movie, shaped by it daily--almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Nights and Weekends

2008 USA

A perfect relationship movie--call me crazy but is it even possible to escape in movies unless they show something actually achievable in life? Here, there's no cinematic pretensions--unreasonable tears, forgettable smalltalks, and a painfully banal heartbreak. That's what I call a real romantic dream to get lost in.

Wendy and Lucy

2008 USA

I saw this movie in bed at 4 AM at my summerhouse near Minsk, and was devastated. The young American's struggle, her absolute economic desperation seemed like one of the nightmares me, a Belarusian youth might have about his life. Almost like I dreamt this movie myself at my 4 AM half-sleep.



Another romance masterpiece, but this time even more hyper-realist than the mumblecore movies its titles ironically references. Dare I say, the wordy, detached relationship the main characters are having is literally the relationship I have with my girlfriend/collaborator Volha.


2004 Japan

Great movies not just tell stories, they show moments of pure beauty--and to me the most amazing movie of such kind is this one. It's probably all thanks to the lightness of digital camera, the music-TV-channel style of editing. After all, what is beautiful to us is so often defined but what we saw as kids--and this movie about two Japanese schoolgirls is the heartbreakingly beautiful vision of a 21st century childhood like mine.


1976 Norway, Sweden

Most of the movies on my list are from the 21st century, and the reason for that is that I enjoy all things ultramodern. Of course, the ironic thing is, the most ultramodern--futurist even--movie I've seen was made half a century ago. Edvard Munch's life story is cut and shot in such a way as if it was produced on another planet, in another time--but somehow the whole thing gets more earthily heartbreaking as it gets more otherworldly.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

2016 USA, United Kingdom, People's Republic of China

I'd be lying if I said an Iraq war veteran was literally me but I'm pretty sure director Ang Lee's and writer Jean-Christophe Castelli's outlook on war, heroism and PR bullshit is literally mine. That is to say they are deeply drenched in post-irony, zoomer nihilism, and otaku fandom. You cannot explain Kristen Stuart's tears and the squad reunion in the finale as anything other than a covert Evangelion homage.

Husbands A Comedy about Life Death and Freedom

1970 USA

Although I do identify as novigender, I cannot help but struggle with my toxic masculine side. Husbands is the ultimate toxic masculine movie--as entertaining and wild as it is grotesque and depressing. I wish these guys were literally me! On a second thought, I really don't.



How is a Filipino cow wagon traveling salesman literally me? It's very simple: Heremias' story contains the most amount of pure cinematic solitude by objective numeric value. He wanders through the storm, and crawls through a forest for literal hours--and that's the closest any movie has come to capturing the existential loneliness that I feel right now (in my 20s).

Nikita Lavretski

2019 Belarus

Okay this guy--and I mean it this time--is literally me in every sense of the word. Literally. But no, really, I'm not being facetious, watching the gallery of trauma that is this movie made me feel things no other piece of art ever will. Hope you can get like 1% of it--that would already mean the movie can destroy you. My favourite movies are the ones that destroy me.

Further remarks

What? Including my own flick was overkill? Come on, Tsai Ming-Liang already did it in 2012, I'm just walking in his footsteps. I was a kid when the last poll was published and Mr. Tsai's immodesty impressed me deeply--so that my ultimate goal in life became to spend the next 10 years trying to make it to the Sight & Sound's 2022 World Poll (2032 would make me feel like a failure honestly). Look at me now! Thank you so much for having me, it is the ultimate honor.

Maybe my contribution doesn't make much of a dent on the final list, but I really think that as a 21st century kid my natural predisposition is to enjoy and celebrate 21st century movies to their fullest. I'll leave 20th century flicks to 20th century kids. I want to show love to my favourite artists while they're here to receive the love. Of course, I'm also giving love to myself, but that's a healthy thing for an artist to do, if done in moderation.

I noticed how the organizers of the poll left the definition of "film" to us voters, and maybe some people would interpret that as a chance to include some TV shows. Well, I didn't. Not that I don't consider some series to be masterpieces--I just think it's time for a separate TV World Poll. Hopefully coming soon?